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Keystone, Copper Mountain or Other Resort for Family?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My husband just decided that we should take our kids (13 and 10) out west for their first Colorado ski trip after New Years (Jan 2 - 6). We live in Ohio so they've learned to ski in New York and now we want to give them a different experience. Of course, we are planning this trip for the most $$$ time f the season and we've already missed out on discounted plane tickets -- I told him we should have been planning this 6 months ago!

We've been looking into both Utah and Colorado but thought it would be nice to take the kids to Colorado for the first time out West. Also, prices don't seem to be significantly different but I could be wrong.

Background: Hubbie and I have skiied Vail, Copper Mountain and Keystone. We actually stayed on site at both Vail and Copper but not at Keystone which is why we are thinking of staying at Keystone this time. Does this sound like a good plan for a family of 4? We are looking at the River Run area -- is this a good place to be? Also, would you recommend putting our 10 year old in ski school even though she has a few years of experience on blues and greens? (This is in NY so can't remember how it compares to the west).

Also, does anyone know what the crowds will be like the week after New Years?

Thanks for any advice on whether Keystone will be a good place to take kids for their first big ski trip out West. Recommendations on lodgin and restaurants would be much appreciated as well. Thanks!
post #2 of 4
If Keystone is the place you want to go, you should be fine in all regards. River Run is a decent area to stay in and about the best at Keystone. I would put her in ski school. At least a day.

With New Years Day on a Wednesday, it should mean the crowds should be pretty slow - at least as slow as it gets in Summit County. On the weekend days you'll still be sharing the hill with 10,000 of your best friends.
post #3 of 4
Others have recently asked about Keystone (in Summit Co) and here are excerpts from earlier posts I made:
Keystone is one of the most convenient major ski areas for visitors flying into Denver. It also has a fair amount of reasonably priced slopeside accommodations. Although deserted for my April visit, I've heard it can be very busy at prime times. It has a high ratio of easy intermediate terrain, but there is good stuff at the single black diamond level too. It has a high base, but has a reputation of receiving less total snowfall then some other Colorado ski areas. The bowls have a difficulty level that is nicely suited for a first time bowl skier once your lungs adjust to the elevation :-)

I stayed there for most of a week this past season (Apr 07). Otherwise, never been before, so here is a TOURIST's impression:
River Run section of Keystone is a nice, condo-centric base area about 80 miles from Denver Int'l Airport via good roads. Appeared to have much of the newest development at Keystone. I stayed at pleasing early 21st century condo complex called The Springs, couple hundred yards from the slopes, fun pool. Best thing I liked at River Run was the convenience of riding two back to back gondolas 1st thing in AM to quickly access furthest reaches of resort and then ski my way back to condo for lunch or end of day. There was also a long crowd-eating HSQ that paralleled the 1st gondola for even faster uphill travel out of River Run base. The base is at about 9300' with much snowmaking capacity facilitating decent to excellent conditions at almost any time you visit during ski season.
I ate in my condo the whole time with family, so did not experience much of the small covey of shops, restaurants and couple bars. They could keep you busy for a few nights, then I think you'll need to go to Frisco (5 miles) or Breckenridge (about 25 minutes) to get more of that. There is a big ice skating area at River Run. For novice skiers the lifts out of River Run serve fine beginner-intermediate terrain on the front face of Keystone (Dercum Mtn), some of the easy runs go for 3 miles. If you are there on lower-crowd weekdays or fringe season I think you'll really enjoy that terrain. Schoolmarm (green circle) trail features some gorgeous scenery with slopes 200 yrds wide in some spots, 3.5 miles of easy bliss on a low crowd day. The other parts of the ski area have more difficult terrain, but it seemed like there is a nice intermediate trail from the top of almost every lift in the resort.
Pictures: Was in CO (4/10-13/2007): http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads33/ub... rue#Post35077
Was that great ski weather/conditions for April or what?
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
James....GREAT advice..thank you for the info..nice pics..can't wait for ski season.. BaseballDAD
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